The 10 Best Duffel Bags to Buy in 2018

Don't like traditional suitcases? Check out these awesome duffel bags

Duffels are a popular choice among travelers because they are often lighter than standard luggage, but can hold a lot of gear. As luggage companies expand and improve on duffel bags, you’ll find some with rolling wheels, backpack straps, waterproof material and stylish designs. Whether in need of a carry-on sized bag or something a bit larger, check out our recommendations for the best duffels available today.

  • 01 of 10

    As a hybrid between a carry-on soft side and a duffel backpack, the “High Sierra AT6 Carry-On Wheeled Duffel” gives travelers more options. There are two separate main compartments: a lower for shoes or heavier items and an upper for clothing, however the divider panel can be zipped up to create one large compartment. There’s also a large mesh pocket for toiletries and a front pouch. The bag measures 22 x 13 x 9 inches and has two wheels (not spinner) and an extendable handle. For added convenience, the bag can expand and there are two carry handles on top or backpack straps for easy transportation.

  • 02 of 10

    For a bag that can carry it all, but still fits easily in your closet, the “Eagle Creek No Matter What” extra-large duffel gets the job done. The collapsible bag measures 36 x 15 x 14 inches, holds a whopping 120 liters and features compression straps, water resistant material and sturdy wheels. However, it does not have a retractable handle and can only be toted with a fabric handle. For this reason, it is better when is used as a traditional duffel. The bag can be rolled up into a pouch for easy storage when not in use, but because the bag lacks any firm frame, items can shift easily when wheeling it.

  • 03 of 10

    Worn as a duffel sling bag or a backpack, the multi-purpose “Bago Duffel Bag” is a well-constructed bag that works great as a carry-on. Measuring 13 x 23 x 11 inches and with 53 liters of main storage, the bag can hold up to a week’s worth of gear, but packing cubes are helpful to separate items. The bag folds up into the storage bag (which can also double as a handy toiletry bag), so it doesn’t take up extra room in your home or hotel room. It is made with sturdy zippers, durable material, breathable shoulder straps, adjustable compression straps to reduce the size and has several pockets for small items.

  • 04 of 10

    If you’re planning a long weekend getaway, the “Plambag Unisex Canvas Duffel” is a stylish-looking bag that is also functional and affordable. It's made of cotton canvas material that comes in grey, coffee, army green or dark grey, and it also features classic, attractive zipper pulls. Wear it on your shoulder or leave the strap and carry it like a tote. There are three layers of lining, rubber grips on the bottom (so if you set it on something wet it won’t seep through the fabric) and plenty of pockets. When fully expanded, it measures 24.4 x 9.8 x 11.8 inches otherwise it is 20.8 inches long – a great size for a short trip.

    Need some more help finding what you're looking for? Read through our best weekender bag article.

    Continue to 5 of 10 below.
  • 05 of 10

    While many companies advertise luggage as being “waterproof” they are often just water resistant – a major difference. For those traveling to rainy areas, the “Aqua Quest White Water Duffel” is fully waterproof (unless completely submerged underwater). The company is based out of the Pacific Northwest and knows the importance of keeping necessary items dry. The Aqua Quest weighs 1.6 pounds, measures 24 x 12 x 12 inches and can carry 50 liters of travel gear. Like other waterproof bags, it rolls to stay closed and is made of abrasion-resistant fabric. It can also be carried using handles or with a shoulder sling strap.

  • 06 of 10

    Made of splash-resistant nylon and polyester, the “Code Alpha” duffel can hold a lot of gear, yet is easy to carry around. For starters, the bag is massive: it measures 33 x 17 x 13 inches and comes with a detachable toiletry kit on the side. Three rugged wheels make it easy to pull using the straps, but be aware that the bag doesn’t have a telescoping handle. The sturdy framework is designed so that the duffel keeps its form – whether full or not – and has a main compartment and mesh interior compartment. One drawback is that the bag doesn’t have many extra pockets for gadgets, but is an ideal choice for a checked bag.

  • 07 of 10

    If you're looking for a quality-crafted duffel with style, the “KPL 21 Inch Vintage Leather Duffel” fits the bill. At 21 x 14 x 9 inches it is just the right size for a carry-on bag and looks sharp with fashionable brown leather and bronze buckles. The vintage-style bag is handmade from chemical and dye-free leather and weighs 4.4 pounds. It comes with leather carry handles and a detachable shoulder strap with two side exterior pockets and one front pocket. However, there are no interior pockets to separate items. The bag is well constructed, comes with a personal letter from the maker and is available at a reasonable price – making it a popular choice with Amazon buyers.

  • 08 of 10

    Great for carrying gym gear, the medium-sized, sturdy duffel from Camgo is a solid choice for active travelers and comes at a wallet-friendly price. Measuring 17.7 x 9.4 x 9.4 inches, the cylinder-shaped duffel bag from Camgo has a handy mesh side pocket for shoes to keep them separate from the rest of your clothes and gear. There’s also an exterior zipped pocket for grab-and-go items, as well as interior slots that are perfect for cell phones and music players. The duffel is small enough to tote around on the airplane as a carry-on and features a comfortable padded shoulder strap. It is available in rose, black, pink or royal blue. 

    Continue to 9 of 10 below.
  • 09 of 10
    Gregory Alpaca Duffel 45L
    ••• Courtesy of Jet.com

    The Gregory Alpaca Duffel is premium-quality duffel that can withstand the elements and is well worth the higher price tag. With a 45-liter capacity, the weatherproof bag can take the wear and tear from the airport and is ideal for outdoor adventures. In addition to carry handles, the duffel features removable padded backpack straps for easy transportation – great for hiking. The water-resistant bag has reinforced threads for high performance and has a small exterior zippered pouch for quick access items, a “U-shaped” main compartment, as well as a large mesh interior pocket. There’s also a slot for IDs and plenty of exterior loops for attaching carabiners. It is available in bright blue or black. 

  • 10 of 10
    Dakine EQ Bag 31L
    ••• Courtesy of Zappos.com

    For a travel duffel bag that looks less like a gym bag and more like a fashionable carry-on, the Dakine EQ Bag is a popular option. With several print designs, including turquoise with hibiscus flowers and white and black Aztec prints, the duffel is the perfect travel accessory. Measuring 15.5 x 9 x 10 inches and with a volume of 31 liters, the Dakine bag makes a great carry on for weekend getaways. When not in use, the polyester fabric can be folded for easy storage. Some features buyers appreciate are the carry handles and shoulder strap, zippered side pocket for small items such as phones and wallets and “U-Shaped” interior storage area. 

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